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Recent gaming: Hero of Weekhawken, Matcha, Millionaire's Row, Deep Sea Adventure, Codenames, Oh Hell
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Mar 21-27, 2016

No normal gaming group, but I still got in some good stuff with the daughter & her boyfriend, home for spring break.

-Mark

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1. Board Game: Hero of Weehawken [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:3498]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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What a unique game. A solo game from Victory Point, back when their productions where somewhat minimalist (which never bothers me, though I note they've got a deluxe & expanded reprint in the works). More than VPG, though, you have to give a nod to designer Robert Leonhard, who took a bizarre and largely unknown episode in US history and made a deduction game out of it.

(At least, it was unknown to me. Does the hit musical Hamilton cover any of this? I suspect the events in the musical precede the events of the game.)

The deduction works more like Clue than Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. Very mechanical, and I'm sure that's by design. The rest of the game feels kind of like a States of Siege game...but not really. It's its own animal, that's for sure. That, and the amazing historical story, are the real attractions. After a few plays, I'm ready to trade mine along, but I'm so happy to have had those few plays to explore this subject.
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2. Board Game: Matcha [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:3002]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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A new lunch hour option. I'm glad I never played this with my wife, which had been my intention when I bought it. It's not her kind of game. I'm not 100% sure it's MY kind of game, and I have a couple niggling doubts, but it was a big, big hit with my coworker. Which makes it a winner for me. If we can play it many times before moving on to something else (perhaps another small game from Grail Games, such as One Zero One), then it's a big success. It's thinky/analytical, but with some luck & imperfect information. That's a good combo for me, though I wonder if the balance between those things is set quite right. Awesome components, too, especially for such an inexpensive game. This is another that really expands the gamespace for what a microgame can do.
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3. Board Game: Machi Koro: Millionaire's Row [Average Rating:6.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.83 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Ok, so it was undoubtedly a mistake to shuffle ALL of the cards from the base game, the Harbor expansion, and this one together to make a mega game of Machi Koro. All of those have been birthday and other gifts from my family over the years, with Millionaire being the most recent one. So I figured it was worth a shot to play with them. It actually worked out ok. The game took a while, but everyone was having fun. Next time I'll just tailor the card mix.
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4. Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:543]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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This was was remembered & requested again by the college kid home for spring break. I can say that experience pays off, because I'm now winning more than my fair share of games. Usually that's be being cautious, only grabbing one or two shallow treasures before heading up. But I've also won by being more brave than other opponents. It really is a groupthink kind of game, and you need to zig while others are zagging.
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5. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:35] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Call this one CodeTHINGS. Following on my previous experiment to play a round using game titles/boxes instead of the cards, I wanted to try another where were just assembled a 5x5 group of household objects. We had a kitchen whisk, a bottle of nail polish, scotch tape, a jar of peanut butter, and so on. Then use a regular red/blue cluegiver card and split into teams. It worked pretty well again, even though I wasn't consciously trying very hard to collect objects that had ambiguity and overlap. We still had multiple objects that were mostly red, others that were mostly square, others that could be called "sticky" (peanut butter, scotch tape, post-its...not all of which were answers!). Good stuff. I still haven't managed to get anyone to try a second round with the same grid of objects, though. I want to see if having a different red/blue cluegiver card can make the same set of objects work...or not.
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6. Board Game: Oh Hell! [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1815]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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The card group league at lunch, which I get to play with about once per month. I think of this group as the middle-aged ladies, but that's only because it's unusual for half the people I game with to be women. It's still true that the other half in this league is middle-aged men! A great game that started with my team destroying the other...until we got cocky, overbid a few hands, and were set repeatedly. It all game down to the final hand of 9 cards. Fun!
 
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Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
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robotrobotrobot Online boardgaming robotrobotrobot

Quite a lot last week...

Campaign Manager 2008 Having fun with this one again, and wishing I hadn't sold off my copy.

Cacao One of the most sold family strategy games of last year.

Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers It seems this is often the favorite among Carc-lovers. I like it, but still prefer the original game.

Dragonheart This game keeps sneaking up on me. I should've bought my own copy by now. It seems so simple, but I think there's decent bluff & strategy in here, for a 2-player filler.

Maori Got the online buddies to play the Atoll variant, which was a nice change of pace.

Nations Dice As a Civ-lite game, it's underwhelming. As just a dice game with some depth but a good length, it's outstanding.

Port Royal Expansion Now that the base game was showcased on GameNight!, people will probably go buy it, and want this expansion, too. As with all expansions, you don't need it, but even I have to agree it's kind of cool.
 
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